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Industry Applauds Beijing Treaty On International Actors’ Rights

Ending over 12 years of negotiations, an international treaty protecting actors’ rights was signed today in Beijing. The treaty is backed by UN agency WIPO, the World Intellectual Property Organization, which includes 185 member states. Now known as the Beijing Treaty, it’s designed to extend economic and moral protection for film and TV performers around the world. Such Hollywood stars as Meryl Streep and Javier Bardem have been big proponents of its implementation. Dominick Luquer, general secretary of the Federation of International Actors said today, “This Treaty will give performers critical rights that will help them control the legitimate exploitation of their work and benefit financially from the new digital reality.”

SAG-AFTRA co-presidents Ken Howard and Roberta Reardon jointly welcomed the news: “Actors and other audiovisual performers have long needed the crucial protections of this treaty, and now we can finally have them. With new rights to proper compensation for the use of our work and control over the use of our images and likenesses, actors will have important tools to protect themselves around the world. This rising tide can lift the boats of all actors worldwide.” Read More »

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Beijing Conference On International Actors’ Treaty Opens With Video From Meryl Streep

More than 10 years in the making, an international treaty aimed at protecting actors’ rights is due to be signed in Beijing in the coming week. Backed by UN agency WIPO, the World Intellectual Property Organization, the treaty would extend economic and moral protection for film and TV performers. It’s geared more towards actors in emerging markets, or those where collective bargaining is not already in place. In many countries, actors whose work is sold overseas have no legal recourse for payment, nor do they have recourse if work is distorted in a way that could hurt their reputation. Ratification of the Beijing treaty by the 185 member countries would set a clearer international legal framework for those artists.

The treaty is backed by such stars as Meryl Streep, Sonia Braga and Javier Bardem. Bardem recently said, “Remuneration for the rights as an actor are very crucial. Not for people like me, but for that 90% of people that really have a serious problem making a living from what they are doing.” The treaty is designed in part to take a stance against piracy. In a recorded video message at the opening of the Beijing conference today, Streep said, “This is a pivotal time in the performers’ battle for intellectual property protection. While digital technology creates a wealth of new opportunities for performers, it also significantly increases the risk … Read More »

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